20 Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved

Best Cricket Rankings

There is possibly no format as fragile as T20 and there is possibly nothing that encapsulates the highs and lows of a cricket match quite like a 20-over showdown. The ultimate contrarian to the sport’s very rule, it is not surprising that we often see someone like Dawid Malan or Virat Kohli securing the No.1 spot in ICC T20I rankings despite many flaws to their process in line with the modern-day batting evolution. In this story, we will touch on the 20 best cricket rankings ever achieved in the history of T20 cricket, giving a sneak peek into how things have been on a mega roller-coaster in the last decade or so.

20. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Shaun Tait (769)

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How many bowlers have made you go berserk while delivering one jaw-dropping spell? If you would’ve watched him bowl at his prime, Shaun Tait would don one top position for sure and he has positioned himself at the 20th rank as far as his ratings in T20 bowling is concerned. He achieved his highest-ever rating in July 2010 against Pakistan, but it is a case study that he played 171 T20 matches, only 21 of which came at the international level. He last played a T20 International for Australia in 2016. Overall, he finished with 28 wickets at an economy rate of 7.39.

19. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Imad Wasim (780)

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It must be a surprise for many how someone like Imad Wasim managed to find a place in such a prestigious list. But perhaps it is fitting that Wasim, who turned out to be Ajmal’s permanent replacement in the national side, takes the next position after a string of consistent performances against the Windies, both in the UAE and Caribbean. In one of the games at Port of Spain, as he raced to a two-wicket performance in an extremely miserly spell, he earned himself 780 rating points.

18. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Saeed Ajmal (788)

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There was a time in the late 2000s and early 2010s when the name of the Pakistani spinner was fraught with danger for batsmen across the cricket world, and before he went through a remodeled action, he was causing carnage with doosra and flight. No off-spinner in the history of T20s was as hostile as he was but the fall was real. In a T20 World Cup game in 2012, Ajmal picked up four wickets on his way to 788 rating points.

17. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Imran Tahir (795)

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When Imran Tahir sprints, can you think of a better sight? A fine proponent of effervescent spin bowling, combining the craft of googly and orthodox leg-spin bowling, Tahir is defying age as only he can. And on February 17, 2017, he was at his best once again, pushing New Zealand to the brink and bagging his highest-ever rating of 795. He might be kicking himself for not being able to cross the 800-rating mark but does that matter?

16. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Shahid Afridi (814)

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Can there ever be a replacement for the swagger and charisma that Shahid Afridi radiates? He is the sport’s ultimate box-office hero but when he hits sixes, we better sit and watch. And with a ball in hand, he was no less a master too, as the former Pakistan skipper swaggered his way to 814 rating points as a bowler in 2009 against Sri Lanka. Also, Afridi was the Player of the Match in the 2009 World T20 final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka for his all-round show—1/20 off four overs and an unbeaten 54 while batting at No. 3, which helped Pakistan win the title. 

15. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Rashid Khan (816)

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The new-age superstar and possibly the most-threatening T20 spinners around the cricketing world, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan means business. Rising from the World Super League Division 5 to the biggest cricket league in the world, Rashid has left a lasting imprint on the T20 stardom. While bowling Afghanistan to a six-wicket win against Bangladesh in June 2018 with a four-fer to his name, Rashid took his bowling rating to 816 and thus secured the top spot on the table as well. It was quite an achievement for a player coming from Afghanistan but boy, ain’t we all know what Rashid does and can do?

14. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Sunil Narine (817)

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Do we need to say anything about West Indies’ Sunil Narine as he occupies a spot in this chart? The Arima hero has a T20I economy of 6.01, and that says a lot about the mystery spinner. Be it outfoxing batsmen with his variations or strangulating them in an easy run-chase, Narine knows it all. He achieved 817 rating points against Pakistan in July 2013.

13. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Daniel Vettori (850)

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Adaptation is the major thing that defined Daniel Vettori’s career, who added stoicism to his repertoire and emerged as a fine T20 bowler, at least in the early stages of the format’s evolution. He never spun enough but took his parsimonious bowling to a new level by conceding just 13 runs in four overs in the Trans-Tasman Cup against Australia and secured what was the second breach into the 850-mark after Pakistan’s Gul.

12. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Samuel Badree (855)

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A legspinner whose accuracy was his key, Samuel Badree was rightfully the dominant figure in the West Indies’ team that won the 2016 T20 World Cup held in India. A scintillating bowling performance against Pakistan rightfully made him the No.1 T20 bowler in 2014. By the time 2016 arrived, he was still the No.1 bowler in the shortest format, a fact that often goes unsaid about the slip-under-the-radar kind of a bowler, who had his impact recorded in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well. Overall, he took 11 wickets in IPL at an economy of 7.42. 

11. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Umar Gul (857)

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Moving the ball both ways off the seam with rapid pace and then backing it up with pin-point yorkers, Umar Gul was one of the first cricketers to have understood the grammar of T20 cricket. This was reflected in his bowling stats, especially his economy rate as he conceded only 7.13 runs per over, and it put him on the pedestal of T20 bowlers’ rankings during the 2009 T20 World Cup in England. His unbelievable figures of 5/6 against New Zealand made him the talk of the town.

10. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Faf du Plessis (843)

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Faf Du Plessis is the antithesis of a modern-day cricketer but when he scales peak, as we can see in his dominant run for Chennai Super Kings, the ex-South Africa captain is a sight to behold. In international cricket, it is not a coincidence that he is the highest-rated South African T20 batsman of all time with 843 points. du Plessis scaled the feat during an encounter against Bangladesh in 2015. That puts him at the 10th position in the all-time list.

9. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Brendon McCullum (849)

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Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand captain, has transformed himself to a successful T20 coach. He recently helped Trinbago Knight Riders to their fourth Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title. In his 71-match T20I career, the legendary Kiwi batsman was a formidable force, accumulating 2,140 runs at 35.66 with a strike rate of 136.21. The hinge point of that dominance in his 10-year-long T20I career was undoubtedly the 849 rating points he secured, which places him ninth on the list of highest-ever rating achieved in T20I cricket’s short history.

8. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: KL Rahul (854)

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“Rahul – Naam to Suna hi Hoga”—a famous live from the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai—is often the joke when we talk about KL, who has hit the summit of T20 batting by owning the IPL in some fashion. The evolution from a spunky teenager, trying to defend more than he hits out, to one of the finest T20 batsmen of his generation, it has been quite a journey for the Karnataka batsman. He hit the straps and got the ground running in 2018, and it was his second T20I century that helped him bag his highest-ever T20 ratings, with 854 points.

7. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Alex Hales (856)

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Controversy’s favorite child, nothing tells us more about the cruelty of the sport than the tale of Hales. His undisciplined lifestyle hampered his progression when he was at the peak of his powers, but he achieved his best rating against India in September 2014. 866 points made him quite a batsman. However, the fall was real and one is left to wonder how solid England would’ve been if Hales hadn’t fallen prey to the bubble off the cricketing field.

6. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Eoin Morgan (872)

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The current English skipper made his one-day international debut for Ireland but kick-started his T20 career for England back in 2009, and within two years, he emerged as the finest player on their side, at least, as per the ICC rating points. After hitting three half-centuries in his first six games for the English T20 team, Morgan didn’t even manage a fifty-plus score in the next 11 innings but secured 872 points in August 2011 on the back of his 47 against India in Manchester. It was also the highest rating at that time and duly helped him reach the No.1 ranking for batsmen.

5. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Kevin Pietersen (882)

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What a maverick, Kevin Pietersen! A batsman whose drive was as sweet to watch as his innovative switch-hit against Muttiah Muralitharan, the former England skipper achieved 882 rating points at the peak of his career in 2010, which was the highest for a batsman in T20 cricket at that moment. His knocks of 73*, 53, 42* against Pakistan, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, respectively, in the 2010 T20 World Cup in Caribbean set him up for bigger honors, and the Australia game in Bridgetown, where he hit another nonchalant 47, ensured his rise to the echelon of the T20 batting.

4. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Dawid Malan (885)

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After topping the batting charts against Australia last month, where he accumulated 129 runs, Dawid Malan, despite being an anomaly of a cricketer, surged eight points ahead of Babar to secure the No.1 spot in the ICC Men’s T20I rankings for batsmen. A regular performer for Middlesex, where he had assumed the leadership role as well despite the presence of Eoin Morgan, Malan’s rise to 885 rating points puts him at the fourth position in all-time highest ratings ever achieved by a batsman in the history of T20 cricket.

3. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Babar Azam (896)

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The Pakistani superstar has taken the international stage by storm, and when he touched 896 rating points in May 2019, he was on course to beat his Indian counterpart and possibly Finch too. Fate wasn’t so kind to him but what a magnificent cricketer he has been so far for Pakistan, Karachi Kings, and Somerset.

2. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Virat Kohli (897)

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The English summer of 2014 was a tough one for Virat Kohli because of what he endured against England in the red-ball format, losing his balance and then edging it more than Nick Compton did against the Aussies, but in T20 cricket, he was in imperious touch. Slowly building his reputation as the finest white-ball player of his generation, Kohli hit 66 in a chase of 180, and even though India fell short by three runs, Kohli elevated himself to the top of the rankings, securing 897 rating points.

1. Best Cricket Rankings Ever Achieved: Aaron Finch (900)

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With 900 rating points achieved against Zimbabwe in July 2018, Aaron Finch remains the one and only player to reach the milestone, building his success story on the back of a superbly-crafted 172—in Harare—which, to date, remains the highest ever individual score at the international level. The Aussie skipper was in great form heading into the T20I tri-series, which also involved Pakistan, remaining unbeaten in four of his last five games. Against the hosts, the peak was so high that he ultimately pushed Virat Kohli down to secure his place at the top of the pile.

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